12 Tips on Choosing a Professional Photographer Palmerston North

Hi! I'm Cate. A family photographer in Palmerston North.Stop looking! You’ve found a Photographer Palmerston North

Hey there! Thanks for dropping by. Chances are you’ve found me because you’re looking for a photographer in Palmerston north.

Well, here I am. My name is Cate and I’m the fun-loving, animal crazy, photographer at Avedon Photography. I’m located in Palmerston North which is in Manawatu. So, you’re in the right place.

But there are so many photographers out there, right? There are Facebook photographers, photographers on Instagram and nowadays, absolutely anyone can build their own website. 

For free even! 

So, how do you know you’re choosing a professional or a wannabe photographer?

And most of all, how can you ensure you’ll end up with photographs that you love? 

To help you decide on the right photographer for you, I’ve put together a list of all the things you should look for in a photographer before you book a session.

So, depending on the time, go grab a coffee or pour a glass of wine and read on! Let’s look at how to find your perfect photographer in Palmerston north.

1. Website

First of all, do they even have one? And I mean a professional looking website, built by a web designer? A website is much like a storefront and just like any other business, you can’t run one without a website. If you’re looking at a website and it looks dodgy, then there’s a good chance the photographer is too. 

And don’t be fooled by a Facebook page either. It’s never been easier for someone to buy an entry-level camera, create a Facebook business page and ‘VOILA’, they’re suddenly a ‘photographer’. 

Of course, a professional photographer will have a Facebook page but a professional website is vital when running a business. 

So, if there’s no website, or an amateurish website, you’ll likely receive amateurish photography too.

2. Check out their portfolio

Lifestyle Photographer Palmerston NorthNow, every photographer has their own style and there’s no right style or wrong style. But it’s important you choose a photographer who has a style you love. After all, these photos will end up on your wall so you’ll want to be happy with the editing style.

Also, look for consistency in their portfolio. One of the wonders of the digital age is the ability to share everything online. And sadly, one of the biggest dilemmas we professional photographers face these days is theft. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for unskilled photographers to pad their portfolio with stolen images. 

But thankfully, it’s relatively easy to catch these fraudsters out! Have a good look through your photographers work and look for consistency. All photographers have their own style in shooting and editing so ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do the images look similar? 
  • Are the images edited in the same style or do they all seem a bit random?
  • Do they all have the same watermark on them? Some fraudsters actually leave the original watermark on so they have images with different watermarks. It’s easy to catch them out!

If there are inconsistencies in the portfolio, then it’s a good idea to investigate further to see if the person using these images actually took them in the first place.

You can view my awesome and consistent portfolio here.

3. Find out what’s included?

Wall Art Photographer in Palmerston NorthThis is something you need to establish right at the beginning. 

What are you actually getting?

Are you getting ‘just the digitals’?

Because if that’s all your photographer is offering, there’s a good chance they’re not a professional.

Most professionals in the photography industry offer products along with digitals because digital files are not a finished product.

It’s a little like going to a restaurant for a meal, only to be sent home to cook it yourself. 

There’s no control over how the meal will look or taste.

I mean, you could buy the finest cut of steak but if you take it home and burn it, it’s bad, right?

The same applies to photography. A beautiful image can be ruined by poor printing, inferior products and we professionals love to ensure our work is amazing.

After all, why pay a photographer if you’re not going to display your photos?

4. Qualifications: Photographer Palmerston North

Does the photographer have any? Are their qualifications listed on their website? If not, don’t be afraid to ask. For example, I spent years studying photography so I could master the art. I’ve even won a few awards, one was the ‘Judges Choice for Best Portfolio’.

Yep, I was a good student.

However, there are many avenues for studying photography so make sure you find out where your photographer studied.

And hopefully it wasn’t on YouTube.

Also, ask how long they’ve been in business, assuming they have an actual business. Be sure to check that out too!

Experience is everything when it comes to photography. It helps you understand people, posing, family dynamics, styling, lighting, working in all weather conditions and producing quality products for clients. 

I’ve worked as a professional photographer for the past 17 years and have learned all of these skills which makes my photography sessions relaxed, fun and awesome. 

5. Professional Equipment

Although having professional equipment doesn’t always guarantee professional work, it’s a good place to start. 

Don’t be afraid to ask what kind of camera gear the photographer uses and owns. Most professionals will have gear that costs in the $5k mark. After all, it’s their livelihood so they invest a lot of money on their equipment. 

It’s totally fine to ask for brand names, what lenses they use and how many camera bodies they have. If your photographer seems a little stumped, there could be a reason. Perhaps they’re a hobbyist and only own the basic gear. 

Look again at their portfolio and check out their images. Are they pin sharp? Are any of their images soft or out of focus images? You know the images that look slightly blurry? This could be because the photographer used a cheap and inferior lens. Or it could be the photographer doesn’t understand the technical aspects of photography. 

Either way, quality equipment is essential to achieving quality photographs.

So don’t be afraid to ask the questions.

6. If it sounds too good to be true. It is.

Everybody loves a bargain. Including me! But the truth is, professional photography is an investment. It’s purchasing beautiful artwork of your favourite people and it will hang on your wall. Forever.

A ‘cheap professional photographer’ is an oxymoron. 

There ain’t no such thing!

Sure, you can give your money to someone with a ‘alright’ camera and get some ‘alright’ photos. 

But who wants ‘alright’?

If you’re going to all the effort or wrangling kids, coordinating family members, doing your hair, and buying new clothes, why would you settle for ‘alright’?

Because if you choose a professional photographer in Palmerston north, you’ll get freaking AMAZING.

And AMAZING is so much better than ‘alright’, right?

7. Albums and wall art and prints – Oh my! 

Oh my indeed! Do you know how amazing printed photographs look these days? It’s not like 10 years ago when we had little choice. It was basically a framed print, a slip-in photo album or a canvas.

But today we have so many options. Although we live in the digital age, the printed photograph is making a massive comeback.

Because a photo isn’t a photo until it’s printed. And who wants to look at a hard drive?

There’s a certain kind of magical nostalgia that comes from flipping the pages of an album filled with your gorgeous people.

And albums aren’t like they used to be either.

We now have fine-art paper, leather bound albums, linen covered albums, the possibilities are almost endless.

And wall art! There’s stunning canvas prints, framed fine art prints in a variety of styles and colours to suit any decor.

Because honestly, who wants to hang generic artwork in their home when you can have professionally crafted and custom designed art of your very own family.

It’s a pretty special thing, hanging your own artwork in your home.

And the best thing is, it’s fantastic value for money.

After all, are you ever going to tire of looking at your loved ones?

I think not!

Not sure what professional artwork looks like? View examples here.

Photographer Palmerston North Custom Wall Art for your home

8. Is there a quality guarantee for the Photographer in Palmerston North?

Now, I know a lot of professional photographers. We’re a pretty cool bunch of people so we tend to stick together. 

And I can tell you this. We ALL guarantee the quality of our printed products.

Because we LOVE seeing our work looking spectacular in the final product. 

And because we source all our products from the best manufacturers, all products are of the highest standard. 

So when you purchase a fabulous print for your wall, you know it’ll look awesome forever.

9. Call your photographer. Do you like them?

This is kind of a big deal. Because you’re spending time with a photographer and it’s such a personal experience, you need to like them.

Because not everyone is the right fit for you and that’s totally okay.

And their work may be amazing but if they grind your gears or make you feel uncomfortable, how are you going to get amazing photos? 

You’re not.

So, the best way to suss out whether the photographer is someone you wanna hang with is…wait for it…CALL THEM.

Yep. This is the best way to find out if you’ll have fun hanging with your photographer. 

Plus, you can ask them all the questions I’ve suggested above.

So, pick up the phone, have a chat, and if at the end they feel like a friend, book them

It’s a win win!

Want to chat? Book a call here.

10. Does the Photographer in Palmerston North help prepare you for the session?

This might seem simple but it’s something that’s often overlooked by hobbyist photographers. Because how do you know what to expect and what to wear if you’ve never had professional photos before?

A professional photographer knows all the tricks to capturing genuine moments with your family and also, how to make sure you all rock your session.

These tips could be anything from what to wear, styling advice, where to buy suitable clothes and how to prepare the kids.

There are lots of resources online for styling and a quick search on Pinterest will provide lots of inspiration and ideas.

11. Wrangling kids during a photography session 

Okay, so this is probably one of the biggest concerns for families.

What if the kids turn into little monsters during the session?

So many of my clients have worried and fretted over this scenario but honestly, it’s all for nothing.

Because this is what we photographers do.

We wrangle kids.

And by wrangle, I mean we have tricks we use to win them over.

Now, I’m not going to divulge my secret trick because it’s totally awesome.

But I will tell you this, all kids succumb to my tactics and I always capture beautiful portraits of them. 

And they even have fun!

Which is why all my families return year after year for family portraits.

Family photographer Palmerston North

12. Does the Photographer in Palmerston North know the local area?

Also a big deal. If you’re choosing a photographer in the Palmerston North area, then you’d assume they’d have local knowledge of photography locations.

For instance, I have two beautiful locations I use regularly for my family sessions.

The first is beautiful Horseshoe Bend, popular for its waterhole and bush-walking tracks. It’s always a huge hit for families as the kids love to explore after their photos.

My other favourite location is the stunning Manawatu River. It’s popular for its gorgeous scenery and makes the perfect backdrop for any genre of  photography.

So all my clients end up with beautiful scenery intertwined with a family portrait.

So, there you have it. My top 12 tips for choosing the perfect, Professional Photographer in Palmerston North.

I hope you’ve found my blog ‘12 tips for choosing a professional photographer Palmerston North’ useful and informative.

And if I sound like the perfect photographer for you, take my advice and book a call here.

I’d love to chat with you!